For many users, that’s likely to be Microsoft Office, but what if you don’t want to subscribe to Office 365 or pay a considerable sum to buy it?
Worry not – there are several alternatives out there for FREE!
Buyers of new iMac, iPad or Macbook will have Apple iWork suite which includes word processor, spreadsheet and presentation applications. They look different to MS Office but they all do a similar job to Word, Excel and Powerpoint.
If you are using a Windows PC, then there are several choices for you. The following software packages are all compatible with MS Office – you will be able to read Word documents for instance, as well as save your own documents in .doc or .docx format if you wish, but their file formats are also readable in MS Office applications. It works both ways.
Top of the list for me is LibreOffice which can do pretty much everything MS Office can do and has a similar look and feel. You can download it free, here. Open Office is very similar to Libre and is also downloadable free, here.
If you are looking for an office suite that you can also use on your Android device as well as your PC, then a good choice is Softmaker’s FreeOffice. Download it here.
Another option is Google Docs, along with Sheets and Slides. These can be used on any device with access to the internet – but that’s downside - you need to be online to use them. You don’t need to download these applications – simply use your google account to log into them. If you own an Android device, you will already be logged in. If you use the Chrome browser on your PC, or a Gmail account, you already have a Google account too. A bonus with Google products is that you can access your documents across all of your devices. That means you can make changes on your phone or tablet and they will show up on your PC (or Mac) as soon as you log into your Google account there.
One final note – some schools and colleges, and all UK universities, supply Microsoft Office Education access to their students for FREE. Ask at your child’s school if you aren’t sure.
'Alternatives to Microsoft Office Software' - written for File Genie by Freelance Writer Ruth Raymer @WritingWalking